Spotify listeners overtake BBC Radio 1 in latest Rajar figures

BBC Radio 1

BBC Radio 1

With BBC Radio 1 posting the worst listener figures in its history, Getintothis’ Adam Lowerson ponders whether streaming has officially taken over.

BBC Radio 1 has posted its worst listener figures in the station’s history in the latest Rajar results, with its average weekly audience dropping to 9.1 million, almost two million less than it posted five years ago.

The figures saw the BBC‘s flagship new music radio station drop by almost half a million in the first three months of 2017, in a year which has seen key figures such as Radio 1‘s former Head of Music George Ergatoudis joined streaming giant Spotify as Head of Content Programming, and the 1Xtra‘s Austin Daboh also jumped ship to become a Spotify senior editor.

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These changes could have had a big impact on the figures, with Spotify now overtaking Radio 1 in listeners, with the streaming service now boasting over 9.1m users in the UK alone. This is the first time in history that Spotify has overtaken the station’s figures.

But how significant are the results? Is streaming killing off radio?

Maybe not just yet. Elsewhere at the BBC, 6Music posted record breaking figures, with its average weekly listenership up to 2.35 million, and UK radio overall seeing a small rise of just over 400,000 on the equivalent period in 2016.

So while streaming sites such as Spotify and Apple Music are undoubtedly pulling big numbers, it’s not killing off radio quite yet. In fact, the variety of stations available across digital is boosting listeners, but just taking some away from some of the big names such as Radio 1.